I have been living a lie. I don’t remember when I heard that celery was a “negative calorie” food, that munching on the crunchy green stalk burned more calories than it provided as food. Looking up the history of celery on Wikipedia, I learned that is a lie. But celery is part of weight-loss diets, as it provides low-calorie dietary fiber. And, not only great for weight loss, added crunch in your stir-fry, or as a vehicle for peanut butter, the seeds of celery plants are also often used as an oil in the perfume and pharmaceutical industries, as well as in spices (have you tried celery salt?).
Last week I wrote about greening your new year with a garden space inside. Kick off your indoor garden by growing your own celery! It’s quite easy, and after reading about it on RealFarmacy, the boyfriend and I decided to give it a go. I can’t wait to cut a stalk of celery off my own plant.
- Simply buy a stalk of organic celery from your local farmer’s market or grocer, cut off the base, rinse it off and place it in a small saucer or bowl of warm water on or near a well-lit window — with the base side down and cut stalks facing upright.
- RealFarmacy notes that while leaving the celery in the water for approximately one week, the stalks begin to dry out, but “the tiny little yellow leaves from the center of the base began thickening, growing up and out from the center, and turned a dark green.”
- Change the water in the saucer every 2 – 3 days, and use a spray bottle to spritz the new growth directly.
- After 5 – 7 days, transfer the celery base into soil (I love how RealFarmacy used an oatmeal container!) covering the whole base with soil, allowing just the leaf tips to show through the dirt. If you live in a temperate climate, plant outside.
- Water generously, and watch your celery grow!
We (okay, *I*) named our new celery plant Cecil. It’s day 3 in the potting soil, and he’s already growing like mad, helped along by a weekend of rain in L.A. Have you set green-growing intentions for 2015? Will you try growing your own celery? Tell us here in the comments, or over on Twitter @TheCityFarm.
(Photo Credits: Stoop celery: Rebecca Snavely; Celery in oatmeal tins: RealFarmacy)